$2M bail for Lepsch on homicide charges - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

$2M bail for Lepsch on homicide charges


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Bail was set at $2 Million cash for the Dakota, Minnesota man accused in the double homicide of a La Crosse business owner and his son.

During a court appearance Friday afternoon in La Crosse County Circuit Court, 39-year-old Jeffrey Lepsch was charged with two counts of first degree intentional homicide, armed robbery, and felon in possession of a firearm.

Judge Dale Pasell was not in court today, and attorney Keith Belzer served as court commissioner at Friday's hearing. Belzer set bond in the case.

"The charges are obviously very, very serious," Belzer said. "The risk of flight is enormous. I'm going to impose a cash bond of $1 million on each of the first two counts, for a total of $2 million."

Lepsch was arrested October 10th near his home.  Until Thursday afternoon, he was being held in the Winona County Jail.  At a court hearing in Winona, he waived extradition back to Wisconsin.  He was later transferred to La Crosse.


WINONA, Minnesota (WXOW) - The man charged in connection with the shooting deaths of Paul and AJ Petras has been brought to the La Crosse County jail Thursday to face homicide charges.

He will appear in La Crosse County Court Today at 1:30pm for a hearing.

Online jail records show Lepsch is held without bond on charges of first degree intentional homicide, armed robbery and felon in possession of a firearm.

In a Winona courtroom Thursday morning, Lepsch, 39, waived his right to an extradition hearing. He agreed to voluntarily return to La Crosse.

Lepsch was arrested near his home in Dakota, Minn. on Oct. 10, then jailed in Winona County in connection with the Petras' deaths.  

Paul Petras and his son AJ Petras were found dead inside May's Photo at 425 Main Street in downtown La Crosse Saturday, Sept. 15.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke, in Winona for the hearing, said typically, people do not fight extradition.

"The only issue at that point is if you're the person named in the complaint and if the arrest is legal," Gruenke said. "The facts and the circumstances in the case don't come up. So, most people don't fight it."

For security reasons, the La Crosse County Sheriff's Department didn't say when Lepsch was transported back to La Crosse.

He could appear in a La Crosse courtroom as early as Friday for his initial appearance.

According to a criminal complaint, the Petras' were killed in May's Photo between 2 p.m., when the store closed, and 5:15 p.m. Paul's wife discovered their bodies.

Law enforcement used surveillance footage from neighboring businesses to track down Lepsch.

After law enforcement searched Lepsch's home, they found camera equipment. Investigators said the equipment was taken from May's Photo.

A total of $16,000 worth of equipment was stolen from the Petras' photo shop. Not all the pieces were recovered at Lepsch's home, according to the criminal complaint.  

For a look back at some of the stories related to the case, click here.

Powered by Frankly